Two Dutch ministers have submitted an amendment to parliament that would scrap the age limit and expert statement, to simplify changing gender on birth certificates, following pressure from transgender groups.
The legislative amendment to the Transgender Act was submitted by the legal protection minister and emancipation minister to the Lower House of Parliament. “Persons whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex determined at birth can, under certain conditions, change their gender in the birth certificate,” a release published on the website of the Dutch government says.
According to the statement, more people want to change their gender registration, with the numbers rising from 460 in 2016 to 640 in 2018. The amendment was put forward in order “to do justice to the emancipation of transgender people.”
The ministers suggest scrapping the requirement for an expert statement in which a doctor or psychologist establishes the fact of a lasting conviction of belonging to the opposite sex. The statement says transgender groups consider this requirement to be a violation of the right of individuals to self-determination. The simplified procedure would involve written submission of the desire to change gender registration, and confirmation four to 12 weeks later.
The proposed legislation would also scrap the age limit, so that children under the age of 16 can change their gender registration. This is being done as a nod to transgender groups and parents who say that some young people already live with a gender other than that designated at birth before they reach 16. In order to change their gender registration, children would have to submit a request to the court.